Lienke de Jong: Being a Morning Person, Growing a Brand, and Motivating Thousands

Lienke de Jong: Being a Morning Person, Growing a Brand, and Motivating Thousands

    For today's podcast, we talked to Lienke de Jong, the owner of Dear Good Morning. Every morning at 6:30, thousands of people join Lienke for her online morning workout. Since April 2014, the Dutch blogger has been inspiring people to wake up early and do a workout, as she believes this is a key to a more energized, positive, and successful life. 

    What the podcast is about:

    ○ Getting into the fitness industry - from being a TV producer to waking people up;
    ○ Becoming a morning person - how and why; 
    ○ Winning the Fitlist Awards of @womenshealthnl - impressions and motivations;
    ○ Being an entrepreneur - team, life/work balance, future plans, and lessons learned. 

    Listen to the full podcast here: 

    Podcast Transcription: 

    Julia: Good morning everyone and welcome to the Fashion Potluck podcast! My name is Julia, I am the Chief Marketing Officer of FashionPotluck.com which is an empowering social media platform for women. Today I'm here with Lienke de Jong, also known as ‘Dear Good Morning’. ‘Dear Good Morning’ is Lienke’s platform which motivates people to wake up energized. Every morning at 6:30, Lienke does workouts and wants to inspire people to do the same. She believes that this is a key to a more energized, positive and successful life. As well, she won the Fit list Awards of Women's Health magazine from 2019. Hi Lienke!

    Lienke: Good morning! That was a nice introduction!

    Julia: Good! So today I would like to talk to you about your career, your life, and motivations. You have, as I said before, a very unusual and very impressive concept. You wake up every day at 6:00 a.m. and exercise together with your audience. You always look happy and energized, the same as now! How do you do this? Did it become your habit after all?

    Lienke: Well, first of all, I think I'm just a happy person. I think that's very important. And because of the 7 a.m. workouts, I became a happier person. I was before, but now because I'm doing workouts every morning, I became happier each day. So it is a habit. And I really need to do it. Otherwise, I will get a little bit grumpy.

    Julia: OK. Interesting. But when you started waking up that early, were you also energized and happy or were you grumpy at first? Because personally, when I wake up early, at first, I'm very grumpy. What would you say?

    Lienke: Well, it started actually four years ago. I was finished with my study and I worked as a full-time producer, so I was very busy, and I didn't have time for my hobbies. And during my studies, I did a lot of sports because I just liked it very much. But then, starting full time with my job, I didn't have time for anything. So, I became lazy, and then more grumpy - not really myself. So, the only opportunity for me was to do a workout in the morning, because I didn't have time in the evening. And then it actually all started, it was 2014, in April, and it's just changed my life.

    Julia: Was it hard, in the beginning, to wake up earlier?

    Lienke:  It was. It really was. I was more of a night person. And so, when I told people I will do a workout at 6:00 in the morning, or 7:00, my parents were laughing so loud, and nobody was believing me.  So also, because nobody was believing me, I was like, I want to do it to show everyone that it's true what I'm saying. So yeah, it was really, really hard. But after the first time, I felt so energized and I did it again, and again, and sometimes it was hard. But after a month, I got used to it. And I was like ‘Oh this is what I really want to do, and I think it will change my life forever’.

    Julia: Okay, well you said you were a night person, and I was actually going to ask you do believe in such statements like: ‘I'm the morning or night person’?

    Lienke: Well at the beginning, I didn't believe that at all. But then I started with  ‘Dear Good Morning’ and a lot of people were saying ‘no, I will never do it’ and I'm always saying, ‘yes you can, you do just need some discipline’, but some studies are showing that it's in your DNA. So, I believe that you are a night person or a morning person. But if you really want to do it, you can switch it.

    Julia: Okay, interesting. Well, I should try then!

    Lienke: Good luck!

    Julia: You mentioned you worked as a TV producer. How was it? For how long were you doing this, and what made you quit in the end?

    Lienke: Well I studied for it, for ‘New media’.  So, I was an intern in 2012. My biggest dream was to become a producer. So, it was very nice too, after my internship, I could stay, And I had a contract and I stayed there for three or four years.

    Julia: OK, that's quite long.

    Lienke: It is, yeah. And it was my biggest dream. But then I started with workouts in the morning and people saw me as the ‘fit girl’ in the morning, like the morning freak. And then I discovered, like, I really love to be a producer, but also to do something with the morning. And I started to think about what I really want to do in life.

    Julia: Okay, so how did you get into fitness? Was it just naturally starting exercising, or did you study for it, or take some course?

    Lienke: No, I didn't do anything. But you have YouTube. I looked up on Instagram. #fitgirl has taken the motivation to work out. So, I found some different girls and guys who were doing workouts and I just followed them.

    Julia: Okay. Were you a sporty kid in your childhood?

    Lienke: I was, but I did so many things I just couldn't find what I really loved. I did for two years the circus school, so I  was more like a crazy kid doing everything.

    Julia: Okay, well Dear Good Morning is your website, and it is your concept about mornings and everything is about it. Could you tell me a little bit more about this?

    Lienke:  Yeah, it started as a blog because my colleagues at the TV production company asked me: how do you do it? What do we need to do? Can you give us some tips and tricks?  So I started the blog to tell, in my area, to tell about my happy mornings and then I found out that also people who I didn't know were following my blog and they sent me emails like ‘Oh, you're an inspiration, and I want to follow you, give me more tips and tricks.’ And I was like ‘oh, I really can do something about it’. So that's why I started with the blog and then also social media.  I found Instagram and #fit girl was really a no in the Netherlands. So, I think I'm like the first generation, with some people, about the fit girl and the morning of course. Okay. And it became bigger, the social media and my blog.

    Julia: Okay. And currently, your website has a store. It has a blog as well.

    Lienke: Yes, and tips and tricks.

    Julia: What else?

    Lienke:  Well nowadays, it's more platform with workout tips and tricks about morning, but also about your sleep. But, that's the first step, so you could become like a better sleeper. And I have phone cases, planners, to make your morning routine better. So, I want to have every gadget or tool to make your morning better and nicer.

    Julia: I also saw them besides calendars and cases which have a price, which people can buy and order online. You also have freebies. I saw some checklists and some documents which you can download, for example, how to start running. I was looking into it like a couple of weeks ago. Interesting!

    Lienke: Oh yes! Yeah, because I'm doing a workout every morning, and I don't want to say to people you really have to do a workout, but just do something that gives you energy. So, I want to give people also things you can do, and yeah for free, I think it's important to give people something. So, they can start.

    Julia: Yeah. It looked very nice, and I think it's, in general, a very, very good idea. We also practice very different checklists at Fashion Potluck, like different type, not about running, but some other ones.

    Lienke: Yeah, that's nice!

    Julia: You said once that your mission is to make every Dutch person get up one hour earlier. How many people were you able to motivate? …

    To learn more about Lienke, visit her website, Instagram, or Youtube Channel

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